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Families Rally Against New York Teacher Tenure Laws

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- Seven families from across New York state who want to end teacher tenure rallied at City Hall on Monday.

As WCBS 880's Jim Smith reported, the families are filing a lawsuit challenging teacher tenure, seniority and disciplinary rules. They say those protections are keeping ineffective teachers in the classroom.

Plaintiff Keoni Wright, of East New York, said his twin daughters have different teachers, and he sees the difference.

Families Rally Against New York Teacher Tenure Laws

"We need to have the best teachers, not just for my kids but for everybody's kids," Wright said.

"If you don't want to teach, then maybe you should go to the lunchroom and serve some lunches," he added.

The families are backed by the Partnership for Educational Justice, whose founder is former TV news anchor Campbell Brown.

"We're supposed to throw up our hands and give up on all these kids?" she said. "I think that's a crazy notion."

The group has been buoyed by a similar legal win recently in California.

The New York lawsuit claims that permanent lifetime employment with rare removal based on performance violates the constitutional guarantee to a sound education.

The state Education Department refused to comment on the pending litigation.

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